AstroGrav iconAstroGrav Help /Tutorial /Exercise 1 - Preparing the Tutorial SimulationVersion 3.4.1

AstroGrav icon    Exercise 1 - Preparing the Tutorial Simulation

This exercise teaches you how to prepare the tutorial simulation, and should take about 10 minutes to complete.

Opening the Tutorial Simulation

In order to follow these tutorial exercises, you will need to use a tutorial simulation that has been specially prepared for the purpose. You can download it to your computer by clicking here. This tutorial simulation shows the major members of the Solar System, and contains the Sun, the nine planets, and the seven moons with radii over 1,000km. To open it, go through the following steps.

  1. If you don't already have AstroGrav running, double-click on the AstroGrav application icon (AstroGrav icon) to start it running.
  2. When the Open Simulation file chooser dialog is displayed, navigate to and open the Tutorial.ast file.
  3. The Tutorial simulation will then open, and you will see the simulation's three windows displayed on your screen.

Each of these three windows provides a different way of looking at the simulation's objects.

Positioning the Windows

While following the tutorial exercises, you will have to frequently swap from reading these instructions on your browser to using AstroGrav itself. You may wish to make this easier by repositioning the windows of the Tutorial simulation. Don't resize any of the windows or change anything else in the simulation, as this may cause you problems following the tutorial later on.

If you've repositioned any of the windows, it's a good idea to save the Tutorial.ast file with your new window positions. This will save you having to reposition the windows every time you reopen the simulation. To save the Tutorial.ast file with your new window positions, choose the File / Save menu item (or the 'File / Save' icon tool).

Examining the Windows

Have a look at the three windows, clicking on them as necessary to bring them to the front, and check the following.

  1. To the right of the Tutorial: View window is a palette of tools that disappears when another window (such as the Tutorial: Structure window) is brought to the front. Try moving this tool palette around by dragging on its title bar, closing it by clicking on its close button, and re-opening it by using the View / Show Tool Palette menu item (or the 'View / Show Tool Palette' icon tool).
  2. At the bottom of each window is a status bar that shows the simulation date and time on the left, and the number of objects in the simulation on the right. Between these on the Tutorial: View window, there are three other pieces of information that will be explained later in Exercise 3.
  3. At the top of each window is an identical tool bar, although the Tutorial: Structure tool bar is truncated because there is not enough room to display all the tools. If you click on the '>>' icon at the right hand side of this tool bar, a popup menu appears showing the missing tools. The tools on each tool bar are arranged in groups that correspond to the way that the menus are arranged, with a search box to the right of the tool buttons.
  4. Bring the Tutorial: View window to the front if necessary, run the mouse pointer over the tools on both the tool bar and the tool palette, and read the tool tips that pop up to tell you what each tool does.

Next: Evolving Simulations

You've now completed Exercise 1, and are ready to move on to Exercise 2, which teaches you how to evolve simulations.


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